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FreeBSD Ports and Packages Installation and upgrading of ports and packages on FreeBSD.

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Old 2nd May 2008
qweasdzxc qweasdzxc is offline
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I have been reading a good number of articles about how to keep your software up to date on your computer (portupgrade) but can't find someone explain one thing I can't understand. So I install some large software using ports, say Gnome as it takes me about 2-3 days to compile it on my computer, so naturally I would install this with a package. But eventually, new versions of the software comes out (or since I installed it from a package, there may be a newer port already out) and portupgrade will try to install this new version using ports (assuming a package hasn't been released yet) when I run the -a command to keep everything up to date and begin the 2 day process. I don't know how to avoid this problem unless I specifically use caution to portupgrade every individual piece of software instead of using -a until a package release comes out. Is there a better approach to this?

Another thing: it would seem to me like every time I want to upgrade something I should use -rR commands with portupgrade to keep everything consistent, but I often find articles being very inconsistent with using -rR or just -r or -R or nothing at all. Is it typical to always use -rR and why not if you dont?
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Old 2nd May 2008
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18Googol2 18Googol2 is offline
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2, 3 days to finish Gnome compilation? You gotta be joking!

The 1st time I installed FreeBSD, then I tried out Gnome, it took me ~6 hours.

Recently I have upgraded the ports manually, go to the website, download the latest version and compile it with traditional way, ./configure ; make ; make install
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Old 2nd May 2008
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You can specify ports portupgrade should leave alone in /usr/local/etc/pkgtools.conf with the HOLD_PKGS option.


In your case you probably want to add/use 'gnome*'
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Old 2nd May 2008
DrJ DrJ is offline
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You'll get lots of opinions on this, so let me start. First, if you want to use packages you should use the -stable repository. Otherwise over time you will be limited to the packages that were available at the release (such as 6.3, for example). See the -P flag on portupgrade. If you must use a package, see that it is available first.

I don't use pakages much, and honestly am surprised that it takes you two to three days to update Gnome. The whole thing takes about eight hours for me, and my system is pretty old.

On upgrading philosophy, I try to avoid "portupgrade -a" whenever possible. Usually I track a few major metaports, such as xorg and gnome, and a bunch of smaller ones. The metaports often require attention from /usr/port/UPDATING, but between minor versions usually a "portupgrade -R" gets all the pieces. So if you work top down, -R does it. Only rarely do I start at a low level and build everything depending on it unless it is something like gnutls and UPDATING instructs one to do so.

The other thing you have to answer is "why do you want to upgrade?" Certainly you have to on a somewhat regular basis, but there really is no need to do so that often unless you need a new feature or are fixing a bug. I've found over the years that I usually introduce as many new bugs as are fixed, so I limit my updating to once every two months or so on my desktop system unless I am chasing something I need (like the recent moused issues with xorg). Monsters like openoffice I only do when they break, which is usually once every year. I almost never update ports on my servers unless I *really* need to.

It is also useful to learn how to use HOLD_PKG in /usr/local/etc/pkgtools.conf.

Some ports too require tools other than portupgrade. ImageMagick seems not to work with portupgrade any more (it reports a broken Makefile) but portmaster works fine.

For me there is a lot of art involved with updating if you have a lot of ports installed like I do. So every two months or so I leave a day on the weekend to update the whole computer. It mostly works on the first shot, but there are always a few that need more digging. Others do it differently, of course, but I've managed to keep things going pretty well since 4.8 was cutting edge.
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Old 6th May 2008
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I remember Gnome... I setup an installation of 7.0-Release for testing and figured I'd try gnome, over 2 hours of pkg_add later every thing worked (it was not a test machine I would want to compile gnome on).

DrJ poses a good mind set imho, "why do you want to upgrade?".

With how much of a pain it can be at times, it makes sense to upgrade when there is reason or necessary rather then staying up to the minute.

Portupgrade is a great utility and worth learning to use if you ever touch ports. I've given up on it for most things, but still find it useful. When I upgrade things on my systems, I usually do it in a 'rip' and 'replace' manor anyway.
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